Photo: Former 100m Olympic Champion Shelly Ann-Fraser-Pryce is the fastest women over 100m this season with a best of 10.63s.
The highly anticipated track and field section of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gets going tonight local time. The running of the Women’s 100m is set to close the show on what is effectively the morning session in Japan.
Reigning champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, former champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and surprise package Shericka Jackson will all be looking to advance to Friday’s semifinals. Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce are both heavy favourites for the gold medal, while Jackson is also tipped for a spot on the podium.
However, the Jamaicans are not likely to have it all their own way as Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, who is the reigning World Champion over 200m presents a real challenge to the Jamaican sweep. Blessings Okagbare of Nigeria and Marie Josee Ta-Lou of the Ivory Coast will also be among the contenders. The heats are set to begin at 9:40pm local time.
But even before the women grace the track, the three men who qualified for the Discus Throw will get the party started 7:45pm. Traves Smikle who is drawn in group one will be the first Jamaican competitor on the day, followed by Fedrick Dacres and Chad Wright who is making his first Olympic appearance for Jamaica.
Eight-time national champion Natoya Goule will be the lone representative in the Women’s 800m and she will run in heat 2. That event gets underway at 7:55pm.
The other event which will feature Jamaicans in the session is the Men’s 400m hurdles. Jaheel Hyde who ran a personal best to win at the National Championships, Kemar Mowatt, a former National Champion and Shawn Rowe are the three men that will face the starters.
On Friday morning, which is the evening session in Tokyo, Shaneika Ricketts and Kimberly Williams will compete in the preliminary round of the Women’s Triple Jump, while Danniel Thomas-Dodd will go in the Women’s Shot Put.
The heats of the newly introduced Mixed 4x400m Relay will be the final event for the Jamaicans.
The nation will be hoping for some good performances in track and field after Alia Atkinson and Keanan Dols failed to advance in swimming, Ebony Drysdale failed to advance in Judo while Danusia Francis suffered a knee injury that severely hampered her efforts in gymnastics and Ricardo Brown, of whom much was expected, failed to advance to the quarterfinals in boxing, after receiving a first round bye.